Ockert was born and grew up in South Africa. He studied theology at the University of Stellenbosch and did post-graduate studies in South Africa and the Netherlands. The title of his doctoral thesis was, ‘Between Silence and Ecstasy: The spirituality of KH Miskotte in the Context of Mysticism and Charismatic spirituality.’ Ockert has served as a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church in Cape Town, and at various Uniting churches in Sydney and Canberra.
Alongside these pastoral involvements, Ockert has worked as a lecturer at St Mark’s Theological College in Canberra. His theological interests include Reformed theology, Jewish theology, the role of art in theology and the role of preaching in shaping Christian identity.